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Full text of "History And Human Relation"


the issues of human conflict—as though the parlia-
mentarians of the seventeenth century were provoked
to war by mere personal wickednesses and deliberate*
aggressions on the part of Charles I and his supporters.
Though I have no doubt that the progress of his-
toriography to a higher level than this is really to be
regarded as a collaborative achievement, I have always
understood that the name of S. R, Gardiner is particularly
associated with the developments which led to a drasfic
refocusing of these English constitutional conflicts of
the seventeenth century. It seems to have been the
case furthermore that with him as with other people
the refocusing resulted from what in the last resort
might be described as the method of taking compassion
on the defeated. Gardiner's mode of procedure led
him to be careful with the defeated party, and he tried
by internal sympathetic infiltration really to find out
what was in their minds. And this is a process to
which there ought to be no limits, for historical imagina-
tion comes to its sublimest achievements when it can
succeed in comprehending the people not like-minded
with oneself. Once such a process is embarked upon, the
truth soon emerges that it is an easy thing to produce a
Whig history of a constitutional conflict or alternatively
a Royalist version of the affair; but it is no easy matter
to comprise the two in a single survey, since clearly they
cannot be just joined or added to one another. In
reality you find that at every inch in your attempt to
collate the outlooks of the two belligerent parties you
are driven to a higher altitude—you have to find a kind
of historical truth that lies on a higher plane before you